A beginner’s guide to monitoring your backlink strategy with PRT

Having high quality backlinks is one of the building blocks of any SEO strategy.

 

Keeping track of your backlinks strategy can be done in several ways. Today we will show you some of the ways it can be done using PRT’s system.

 

Last week we talked about some of the history and usage of backlinks. Before we proceed, you can catch up here, if you haven’t already:

The History and Importance of the Mythical Backlinks

 

So, let’s get to business then:

 

Ways to know a website’s authority level

A few years ago, it was simpler since, as we said, Google used to display a page’s PR score. But as we mentioned last week, that is no longer the case.

 

There are several tools and methods that deal specifically with backlinks. Some are free, and others cost money. A quick Google search and some decent consumer research should give you a few good examples.

 

Most deal with various metrics to determine a website’s value as an alternative to the now-hidden PR score, just to give you a clue whether that backlink is worth pursuing.

 

Other than using tools, you can also rely on your healthy judgment. High-quality websites usually employ some sort of content filtering and editorial guidelines to filter what they publish. If the website you’re courting for backlinks has a nice organic ranking on Google in your niche (we will show you how to check that shortly), and their content is entertaining, engaging, properly cited and well written (no typos or grammar mistakes), you can gauge that this would probably be a good place to get a backlink from. Also, the websites they link to would most likely also have good content and be good places to woo for backlinks.

 

Note that occasionally, backlink tools will also offer complimentary rank tracking features. That’s all well and good, but they will never reach PRT’s level of expertise in SERP tracking. (They would need to invest heavily in designing and updating their algorithms to Google’s current standards, for one.) SERP tracking is our MAIN focus, and we are the only ones that offer REAL progress monitoring, not inaccurate estimates. It’s like the difference between taking bro-science nutrition advice from your gym trainer vs. nutrition advice from a certified clinical nutritionist.

 

So, how do you estimate a website’s authority using Pro Rank Tracker?

To check a website’s real organic ranks with PRT, you will need to use our Ranking Discovery Tool and Keyword Suggestion Tool in tandem. The best part here is that while you’re researching websites, you also get keyword ideas for yourself.

 

We have devised a method that will get you virtually the entire pool of relevant keywords with search volume in any niche, so before you proceed you should check out our amazing method:

How to discover thousands of keywords from just a single keyword for virtually any niche: Step by step visual guide

 

You can get into the nitty-gritty, but the gist of it is that any website you choose to use this method on will have their top 100 ranked keywords exposed to you (on Google, Yahoo!, Bing and Yandex) along with their specific ranking types. A high-level website will be ranked well on many niche relevant keywords on several search engines. They don’t even all have to be ranked top 10! If you find a solid website in your niche with lots of keywords ranked within top 100, it’s also a good sign.

 

So, this is one of the simplest and most reliable ways to gauge a website’s strength without using any additional tools and without having the PR score explicitly exposed to you. This also happens to be one of the best keyword-research tactics you will find on the market in general. Basically, you get to kill two stones with one bird-shaped projectile.

 

As for which keywords are best to target, general SEO keyword lore is something we covered in our blog, so if you want to review it to ensure you got your basics covered, read our full article:

SEO basics: How to know how many keywords you need to track

 

How to know with 100% certainty if your backlink strategy works

Find those authority hubs and have them link back to your website

You did your homework, you got some high-quality links pointing to your little watering hole, but how do you determine if it worked for the search engines you were targeting? Did the wildlife that lives in the Google savannah of your niche take notice?

 

Besides seeing the traffic to your website increase, there’s also the issue of your organic search engine rank. We’ll focus on the most clean, impartial and simple way to know your website’s progress – straight from the source – which is following your ACTUAL rise in organic ranks by tracking them with a SERP tracker right from the start of your backlink-building campaign.

 

So first of all, the basics:

 

From the start of the campaign, you will choose several keywords to target in your niche. You will need to add those keywords for rank tracking the right way, on par with Google’s 2018/2019 standards:

 

Desktop and mobile rank types

You probably know by now that Google indexes mobile search results differently than desktop results as part of their “mobile-first” indexing approach. While searches on mobile devices surpass desktop searches, desktop still takes a hefty chunk of the total search traffic. These days, desktop ranks and mobile ranks will be different 99% of the time (unless you reach total SERP dominance, in which case your website will be ranked no.1 on all search types), making it mandatory that you track both at once to make sure you progress at both frontiers.

 

More on Google’s mobile-first approach to ranking and how everything changed in 2017:

 

Geo-targeted locations

Every search is being geo-targeted and personalized specifically to suit the user’s location, hence the emphasis on local SEO as the main approach for SEO in the past few years.

 

A person searching from Paris will see a 99.9% different SERP than a person searching for the same term from New York, with often huge differences in ranks (tens to thousands of position gaps). In many cases, even two people searching from adjacent neighborhoods will see different search results (although the ranks will vary only slightly by a few positions).

 

You need to figure out the most relevant area for you to track for your website, and add that area. The best practice would be to add rank tracking at least on a city level.

 

More on how Google’s geo-targeting works:

Google airport ranks and the new levels of local SEO rank tracking in 2018

 

Specific mobile-type ranks

This is a fairly new field and is not yet widely discussed in the SEO community, but it appears to be the future of SEO and rank tracking as a whole.

 

Not only does Google differentiate between desktop and mobile searches, but it also takes the distinction further and splits mobile ranks based on two additional layers:

OS type – iOS users will see a different SERP than Android users

Screen size – tablet users will see a different SERP than phone users.

 

To see the full picture, this must be taken into account. And if that sounds farfetched, there are more and more cases observed where mobile visibility dropped entirely for a certain OS type and screen size:

Red is iPhone rank and blue is Android rank

 

Red is iPhone, blue is iPad

 

We did a full-coverage story about it, and this one is a very important read if you care about the future of SEO:

What Google isn’t telling us about their current (and future) mobile ranking algorithm

 

UI language

Users also see different search results based on what default UI language they use as their Google default. A person with a French UI searching from Canada will see different search results than a person searching from the same location, but with an English UI.

 

If you target a specific language, then that’s the language you should concern yourself with. This is especially crucial for anyone with international websites and translated versions of their content. Read more on that here:

How to win at rank tracking multiple-region/language URLs following Google’s update

 

Additional search engines

Google isn’t the only player in town, and it’s a healthy practice to target Yahoo! and Bing as well. They have several advantages, such as an older and more financially solid user demographic, fewer catastrophic rank-pummeling updates, and less rigid SEO responsiveness. We go into it in more detail here:

Is Bing really a failure? Should you even track your Bing ranks?

 

So, be sure to target search engines other than Google, and track them as well!

 

Let’s summarize with an example. So, back to our bicycle maintenance blog from the beginning of the story. It’s located in New York and targets mostly that area for readers. Here’s what a possible rank tracking for a single keyword for that website will look like:

 

[Keyword: bicycle maintenance diy] + [URL: bicycle-maintenance-diy.com] + [Search engine: Google.com | Device type: desktop | Location: New York, US | UI language: English]

[Keyword: bicycle maintenance diy] + [URL: bicycle-maintenance-diy.com] + [Search engine: Google.com | Device type: mobile | Mobile type: iPhone | Location: New York, US | UI language: English]

 

[Keyword: bicycle maintenance diy] + [URL: bicycle-maintenance-diy.com] + [Search engine: Google.com | Device type: mobile | Mobile type: iPad, Location: New York, US | UI language: English]

[Keyword: bicycle maintenance diy] + [URL: bicycle-maintenance-diy.com] + [Search engine: Google.com | Device type: mobile | Mobile type: Android phone, Location: New York, US | UI language: English]

 

[Keyword: bicycle maintenance diy] + [URL: bicycle-maintenance-diy.com] + [Search engine: Google.com | Device type: mobile | Mobile type: Android tablet, Location: New York, US | UI language: English]

[Keyword: bicycle maintenance diy] + [URL: bicycle-maintenance-diy.com] + [Search engine: yahoo.com]

[Keyword: bicycle maintenance diy] + [URL: bicycle-maintenance-diy.com] + [Search engine: bing.com]

 

Total terms: 7

 

Hopefully, following a successful SEO and backlink campaign, your keyword will soon enter the top 100 for your chosen parameters, and you can start monitoring it. The best way to do it is by using 2 of our features dedicated specifically for that:

 

Trend and Graphs

The best way to monitor progress is to see it. An easy and simple feature that will visually break down your total ranking progress on search engines and your climb towards the top SERP positions. Here’s what it might look like:

Above there are 6 terms, but you can compare up to 15 terms you’re tracking all on one graph

 

A full coverage of our Trends and Graphs can be found here:

Enter PRT’s new ranking charts: The ideal way to track an SEO campaign

 

Notifications

You can set an array of triggers to nofity you whenever a certain event takes place:

 

It’s a wise practice to set notifications at the start of your rank tacking. Imagine what a pleasant surprise it would be to suddenly get an alert that a keyword you were targeting had entered the top 100 positions, and then top 50, and so on. Other than giving you a mood boost for the day, it’s also important to keep taps on all these landmarks. Other than reaching ranking landmarks, it can also protect you from sudden rank drops following an update or – if you didn’t heed our advice – a penalty.

 

More on tactics you could use with our Notification feature:

How to Protect Yourself From Being Deindexed by Google with Pro Rank Tracker’s Notification Feature

 

Backlink building might be considered by many as one of the more difficult tasks of SEO, but like most technical things, it can be improved and eventually mastered with the right approach and methods. The best practice would be to use several tools to cross-examine a website’s authority, exercise some healthy judgment and logic, and combine that with correct and accurate SERP tracking to monitor your search engine progress.

 

We actually plan to add a guide of our own on backlink strategy in the near future that will take into account proper rank tracking as well, so subscribe to our blog so you won’t miss out when we publish that and other SEO tips and search engine lore!

 


About Pro Rank Tracker

So, now you know we offer some high-quality rank tracking that’s ahead of everyone else. But here are a few cool facts we didn’t mention above:

  • We are 100% white label – you can impress your clients by having your logo and company details showcased on all of our reports, features and even our entire tool.
  • We are the only one offering real entry-level monthly plans – no need to dish out $79+ to get started. As low as $17 a month for a handsome 300-term quota is enough to get you rolling.
  • We also track YouTube, Amazon, and unique Google SERP elements such as Snack Pack, Local 100 map results and the video carousel.
  • We reveal the full search volume of every keyword on Google, and also the most accurate search volume estimate on the market for all YouTube, Amazon and Bing keywords as well!
  • No auto-renewal traps – you can take us out for a FREE 7-day trial with all our features unlocked right now. And best of all – we will not ask you for your credit card details to activate it!
  • We offer a totally free monthly plan with no time limit – after your 7-day trial is over, you will be moved to this plan (but also note that it has limited features and only a quota of 20 terms).

 

Get a passive monthly bonus to your income

We bet you wouldn’t object to an extra couple hundred dollars a month. It can be done by referring to us via our affiliate program. And the juicy part – you will earn a 20% recurring commission for the entire duration of the referred account. So that means you can potentially enjoy an income bonus for years to come without lifting a finger after the referral!

 

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